618 Observation | 8 yuan to buy double-sided tape can get 1 yuan back

  If you buy a roll of double-sided tape for 8 yuan online, you can get 1 yuan back if you give it a good review, or even give it to a VIP member of a film and television platform for 1 year?

Mr. Duan, who does not often shop online, was a little surprised.

  Today, online shopping has become a part of people's lives.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics shows that in 2021, my country's online retail sales will reach 13.1 trillion yuan.

People have long been accustomed to this way of shopping without leaving home and by swiping their fingers to buy what they need.

  However, the dazzling variety of products on the electronic shelves are "visible but intangible". When consumers want to make a decision, in addition to looking at the product descriptions carefully prepared by the merchants, they often take the product evaluations made by other consumers as an important reference. Choose to buy items with more positive reviews.

  Because of this, some merchants have used their brains to get good reviews, and it has long been an open secret to find ways to control the review, hire teams to brush orders, etc.

In addition to these, "rewards for good reviews" is also a common method used by many merchants.

They will contact buyers through private chats on the platform, phone calls, and promotional cards attached to the products, and use red envelopes, shopping coupons, etc. as various benefits to induce consumers to give full marks.

  The "Prohibition of Unfair Competition on the Internet (Draft for Public Comments)" issued by the State Administration for Market Regulation in 2021 stipulates that operators shall not induce users to make specified evaluations, likes, forwarding, and orientation by means of cashback, red envelopes, cards and coupons, etc. Interactive behavior such as voting.

This regulation has not yet been implemented, but it is enough to reflect the importance attached to the chaos at the national level.

Various mainstream e-commerce platforms also have express provisions prohibiting merchants from using this method to induce praise, but this phenomenon is still repeated.

  Some experts told The Paper (www.thepaper.cn) that merchants' use of "rewards for positive reviews" will affect buyers' fair evaluation and affect other consumers' right to know.

It is suggested that the regulators increase the punishment of illegal businesses, and also suggest that consumers pay attention to the right to evaluate, and don't let "small favors and small favors" ruin the market order.

Fancy means "praise cash back"

  Ms. Fu is a white-collar worker from a foreign company in Beijing and an online shopping expert. On average, she makes hundreds of online shopping on various e-commerce platforms every year.

Clicking on her news page on a shopping platform, you can see the records of many merchants sending her red envelopes. Miss Fu told The Paper, "All (merchants) promised to give back good reviews, and basically there are such activities." .

  She introduced that some merchants would call her after the transaction was completed to introduce the "rebate for positive reviews" activities, but more merchants sent various promotional cards along with the products.

Some cards are "straight to the point", directly stating the amount and participation method of "cashback for positive reviews", and most of them require consumers to send screenshots of positive reviews to the merchant's customer service on the platform, and the customer service will return the cash red envelope after confirmation.

  Some also print the WeChat QR code of the person in charge of the store on the card. After the buyer scans the code and adds WeChat, the other party will ask to send a positive photo and order number and other information in exchange for a red envelope.

There are also merchants who design the cards in the form of a lottery. The prizes include store products or store vouchers, etc., indicating "100% winning".

  Peng Mei News noticed that this kind of "return for good reviews" activities mostly requires evaluation, the text content is more than 10 words, and it needs to be accompanied by pictures, so as to have the opportunity to be selected as the "selected buyer show" by the platform.

  The Paper learned and found that it is not the products with higher value that have this kind of "praise and cashback" activities.

Mr. Duan, who usually seldom buys online, told The Paper that he spent 8 yuan to buy a roll of double-sided tape on an e-commerce platform a few days ago, and he even received a notice from the merchant that he "returns good reviews".

"For a total of 8 yuan, if you give a good review, you can get 1 yuan back, and even said that you can give it to VIP members of the film and television platform for 1 year." Mr. Duan was a little surprised, "There is not much money in total. Son, is this praise so important?"

  Ms. Fu said that she is not disgusted with the practice of "returning good reviews" by merchants, and admits that sometimes she is affected by the cashback and writes good reviews, "I generally don't have the habit of writing reviews, but if the product is good, and If there is a red envelope, I will write it."

But Ms. Fu said that she would only make an evaluation after actually using the product. "If the product is not good, I will definitely return it, and I will not write a red envelope."

  However, Mr. Duan said that if many positive reviews are made by consumers relying on merchants' "rewarding good reviews" activities, false reviews are indispensable. "How can I believe this?"

  Some merchants will make "rewards for positive reviews" in the form of lottery draws.

Multi-platform expressly prohibited

  The Paper learned and found that the method of "returning good reviews" has existed for a long time, and relevant departments and platforms have also issued relevant regulations to explicitly prohibit this behavior, but it is still prohibited repeatedly.

  In 2019, the "three thousand Amazon Chinese seller accounts were blocked" had caused a lot of uproar.

That year, the Amazon platform banned sales of a total of 600 Chinese brands and about 3,000 seller accounts for a period of time, citing "abusive reviews."

Ask buyers to provide or delete feedback or reviews by paying a fee or offering incentives (such as coupons or free items), asking buyers to write only positive reviews, or asking them to delete or change reviews in accordance with Amazon's Selling Policies and Seller Code of Conduct , soliciting reviews only from buyers who have had a good experience, etc. are prohibited.

  Peng Mei News found that my country's laws also have relevant provisions.

Article 17 of the "E-commerce Law of the People's Republic of China" stipulates that "e-commerce operators shall not conduct false or misleading commercial propaganda, deceive or mislead consumers by fictitious transactions, fabricating user evaluations, etc.".

Article 8 of the Anti-Unfair Competition Law stipulates that business operators shall not make false or misleading commercial promotions on the performance, functions, quality, sales status, user evaluations, and honors of their products, so as to deceive and mislead consumers.

  On August 17, 2021, the "Prohibition of Unfair Competition on the Internet (Draft for Public Comments)" issued by the State Administration for Market Regulation directly stipulates that operators shall not induce users to designate Interactive behaviors such as comments, likes, forwarding, and targeted voting.

Although this provision has not been implemented, it reflects the attention of relevant departments.

On June 15 this year, the website of the Jiangsu Provincial Market Supervision Bureau issued a notice to standardize the "6.18" online centralized promotion activities, and it was also clear that e-commerce operators should not induce users to give designated praise.

  Peng Mei News inquired about Taobao, JD.com, Pinduoduo and other well-known domestic e-commerce platforms, and found that they also have regulations that explicitly prohibit the behavior of "cashback of red envelopes". item.

  On December 21, 2021, Taobao released a public notice on the changes to the rules of the "Taobao Evaluation Specification" (referred to as the "Specification"), to regulate the phenomenon of "return for positive reviews".

In the seller's behavior requirements, Taobao emphasized that it is not allowed to encourage and guide buyers to give "good reviews" on the condition of material or monetary commitments, including but not limited to: full five-star cash back, positive cash back, free orders for good reviews, red envelopes for good reviews, Reward coupons for good reviews.

For those who violate the above requirements, Taobao will deal with it according to the corresponding management rules of the platform.

  JD.com's newly revised "Jingxi Open Platform Inducing Praise Rules" in 2022 also clarifies that merchants encourage and guide consumers to conduct "praise" behaviors on the condition of material or monetary commitments. JD.com will take measures including but not limited to deductions depending on the degree of violation. Disposal measures such as sorting, deleting illegal products, and reducing the right to search for products in the store.

  Pinduoduo’s customer service told The Paper that according to internal regulations, positive cashback refers to the behavior of merchants to induce buyers to confirm receipt of goods and make positive comments by promising cashback, giving red envelopes, coupons, etc. in disguised cashback or other benefits. Pinduoduo reserves the right to delete or block reviews generated by merchants that induce positive reviews.

Former practitioners talk about the motivation of "rewarding good reviews"

  "We would be happy if we didn't have to give red envelopes, but we can't think of a way to get some good reviews," said Chen Qiang (pseudonym) from Sichuan Peng Mei News.

He worked as a "little boss" on a well-known e-commerce platform for 8 years from 2012 to 2019, selling women's clothing and other products.

  Combining years of experience in the industry, Chen Qiang believes that evaluation directly affects two points: First, consumers' choice of commodities.

"A product with evaluation and a product without evaluation, consumers are obviously more willing to choose the former".

The second is the platform mechanism. Products with more favorable reviews are more likely to gain exposure, and exposure is the flow of people. In addition, for large-scale shopping festivals such as "Double 11", the platform will have clear regulations for the products that can enter the event: "The praise is not less than XXX."

  The credit score of the store will also be affected by the evaluation. More positive reviews will add points, and more negative reviews will deduct points.

Taking Chen Qiang's platform as an example, "below 4.7 is poor, generally 4.8, and above 4.9 is relatively good."

The score corresponds to the above-mentioned "exposure rate", and a score lower than 4.7 will greatly reduce the search weight.

  As for the new products that have just been put on the shelves, "it is completely a blank sheet of paper, and some evaluations must be done manually", Chen Qiang said frankly, "(My) previous practice was to brush orders, which would not be done too much, only a dozen or so ".

When a real consumer buys it, the merchant will put a positive cashback card in the product.

In addition, for buyers who have completed the transaction but have not made an evaluation, there will be a phone call from the after-sales staff.

Peng Mei News learned that according to the regulations of the platform, if the consumer does not comment on the product 15 days after the transaction is completed, the system will give the merchant a favorable comment by default, but this kind of system favorable comment has no substantive meaning to the merchant and will not be included in the merchant's evaluation system.

  "If you don't do this, the product will have no evaluation, and it is difficult to attract customers to buy a product without evaluation. Especially for a homogeneous product such as clothing, there is no evaluation without sales, and no sales without evaluation. It's an endless loop." Chen Qiang Say.

  According to his recollection, Taobao had strictly prohibited behaviors such as cash back on positive reviews and swiping orders as early as 2016. “Before 2016, I could publicly say this (rebate on positive reviews), but it was not made public later.”

  "I think (rebates for good reviews) such behaviors cannot be eliminated." Chen Qiang believes that if merchants have no reviews, there will be no traffic, and products will not be sold.

The cost of acquiring traffic in the station is too high. "Taobao's 'through train' or 'diamond exhibition' is too expensive, and a large category of products such as clothing and cosmetics sometimes costs tens of thousands of yuan a day." Therefore, merchants always think about A method similar to "rebate for good reviews" is used to obtain more "off-site traffic".

Expert: Consumers should pay attention to the right of evaluation

  In response to this topic, Chen Yinjiang, deputy secretary-general of the Consumer Rights Protection Law Research Association of the China Law Society, shared his views with The Paper.

  Chen Yinjiang said that consumer evaluations are of course important to merchants, "evaluations represent the image of merchants and merchants", consumers cannot check the goods on the spot when shopping online, and the introduction of merchants and other consumers' comments become the basis for consumers to judge .

The merchant's own evaluation may be suspected of being exaggerated and false, "in contrast, consumers may trust the evaluations of other consumers more".

  Under the current rules, once there is a negative review, the merchant cannot delete it by itself, so the merchant naturally attaches great importance to the positive review, and the phenomenon of "rewarding good reviews" occurs.

  "Actually, the positive comments that appear because of the cashback of positive comments are not objective enough." Chen Yinjiang believes that if consumers really feel that the product is good or really bad, they will make positive and negative comments accordingly.

"But some consumers may have thought that the product was mediocre and did not want to give a good comment. They were induced by the merchant to give a good comment." This will lead to misleading other consumers, and even lead to violation of other consumers' right to know.

  Chen Yinjiang pointed out that under normal circumstances, merchants privately ask consumers for "cash back for good reviews" on a one-to-one basis, so it is indeed difficult for regulators to supervise.

He believes that the regulatory authorities should strengthen publicity through administrative interviews and other methods to inform them that such behaviors will disrupt the market order and may even constitute unfair competition.

  At the same time, Chen Yinjiang suggested that e-commerce platforms should strengthen the management of evaluation content, and delete some clear and inductive comments in time.

In addition, once it is found that the merchants have the inducement behavior of "returning good reviews", the platform should increase the punishment, publicly expose the merchants involved, and truthfully publicize them.

Chen Yinjiang said, "Merchant-induced evaluation has violated consumers' right to know, and the platform should protect consumers' right to know and let consumers know which businesses have conducted such induced fraudulent behaviors." This will have a deterrent effect on businesses. , increase the cost of non-compliance by businesses.

  In addition, Chen Yinjiang said that making product evaluations is a right granted to consumers by law, and consumers should pay attention to this right and make evaluations truthfully and objectively.

If you do encounter a bad consumer experience, you should truthfully give a bad review.

"On the one hand, it is a kind of supervision for merchants, and on the other hand, it plays a guiding role for other consumers." False praise is a connivance to merchants. "In the future, merchants will not win consumers by improving the quality of goods and services. Trust, they will feel that as long as they give a little 'little favor', they can get praise." This not only destroys the market order, but also damages the rights and interests of more consumers, "If everyone does this, everyone may become a 'in the future'. victim'".

  Peng Mei News noticed that Guangming Daily had commented on "cashback for positive reviews" at the end of 2021.

It reads: "Cash back for good reviews" is tantamount to drinking poison to quench thirst, and it hurts everyone.

Whether online or offline, if a merchant wants to operate for a long time, it ultimately depends on the quality of goods and services; whether the platform can survive for a long time also depends on strength and credit.

Therefore, policies and platforms must work hard to manage the stubborn ailment of "rewarding cash back from good reviews".